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[Column] The Secret World: A Complex Issue for Funcom

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  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    I considered buying it but decided not to, at least until there is a price drop.  There are just so many games out there to play.  Some of those games are very well done as well, but you can pick them up off of sites like Steam for rock bottom prices.  I picked up Mass Effect 2 for under $10 bucks and I'm still playing it.  After that it's Bio Shock and then Borderlands.  There's only so much time to play games after all....

     

    Things that could persuade me?  

    1) First 10 or so levels free so I can decide if I want to play it as much as they want me to buy it.  All mmo's should have this.  Perhaps have these players on a seperate server with the ability to transfer at time of purchase.  Just throwing out thoughts here...

     

    2) House.  Give me a little space of my own, something to indulge my obsessive compulsive habits.  I want to decorate ( no hooks please, goodness I hate hooks ), display my trophies and store my junk.  

     

    3) Better character aesthetics.  I've seen too many ugly TSW avatars.  More options, with the ability to change after character creation that is cheap or free.  

     

    4)  I think now you (developers) really need to sell me on why I should buy your game over another game that is free, good, and more established offering more.  It's a dog eat dog world out here, give me what I want and I'll give you what you want.  Otherwise, I'm either picking up the Skyrim expansion or Deadspace 2 for $5.

  • MeliezaMelieza trabuco canyon, CAPosts: 269Member
    Originally posted by Terranah

     

    Things that could persuade me?  

    1) First 10 or so levels free so I can decide if I want to play it as much as they want me to buy it.  

    There is a 3 day free trial that can be extended by 2 days if you complete 30 missions. (not hard to do)


    2) House.  Give me a little space of my own, something to indulge my obsessive compulsive habits. 

    Instead of houses, you get clothing options.  Gloves, shirt, jacket, boots, hats, mix and match hundreds of pieces and colors as you want.  No one in the game looks the same.  There are vendors you can buy pieces from as well as tons you unlock by completeing accomplishments in the game (such as exploring an entire area or completing an entire section of the ability wheel).

    3) Better character aesthetics. 

    Coming on August 28th. You can change your apperance however you want for a small amount of PAX (in game currency).

    4)  I think now you (developers) really need to sell me on why I should buy your game over another game that is free, good, and more established offering more.  It's a dog eat dog world out here, give me what I want and I'll give you what you want.  Otherwise, I'm either picking up the Skyrim expansion or Deadspace 2 for $5.

    I'm totally with you.  I wait until a game is under 20$ before I get it usually.  I got TSW on release day though, and I fully feel its worth the full price.

     

  • HurricanePipHurricanePip Sommerille, MAPosts: 167Member

    For me, I generally don't even consider subscription games anymore.  There are too many alternatives and I'm not sure what the value of the subscription is.

     

    Being a burnt out WoW player, I didn't get any value from the GMs.  It didn't appear to stop the gold seller spam.  It didn't clean up the racist comments in the gneral chat.  Both box and new content were still incredibly buggy ... shoudl we be paying for released content to be fixed to a reasonable production standard after the fact?

     

    Like ToR, the sub model is dieing.  It made sense when people didn't know any better, but consumers are getting smarter and expecting more.  Maybe it's only $15/mo, but when $6 is pure profit for the company and new content is released very slowly and still buggy, maybe $15/mo is too much.

    If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon

    "A local game shop in the Philippines posted a picture on their Facebook page, and it said, “Don't judge a game by the reviews it gets. Play it. Experience it if it interests you.” While this is a nice marketing ploy to tell people to buy games, it's also a truthful way of being an informed consumer."

    No, no and once again: no!

    If MMOs offered trials early on, instead of long after most have left, then I would try just about any game I was curious about. The thing is, considering all the crappy shit released the last years, it's unlikely I'll ever going to buy a MMO at release.

    This may not make me "an informed consumer", according to you, but I'd say that reading a lot of reviews usually gives a good inditcation. Not to mention, it saves me loads of money.

    MMO sales around release is almost purely based on hype. And hype alone will never convince me to buy a game.

  • chefdiablochefdiablo Barrie, ONPosts: 202Member
    Originally posted by palulalula
    It is over with golden time of mmo. In fact only Blizzard can survive all of this mess. Next big mmo will be ''Titan'' or first in the line of virtual reality mmo's. Sad, but for all other companies only solution is F2P and cheap products. Maybe mmofps can profit from this, who knows...

    The thing that annoys me the most is that Titan will sell millions. I would bet hands down Diablo 3 numbers or better. I would also wager that unless the game is completely perfect and contains at least as much content as WOW has right now, before MOP, that somewhere between hafl and three quarters of the fan base will quit the game and gripe about it.

    Blizzard can hit the sales numbers in this market, but can they retain them? The public is very demanding now. Content and quality is at the forefront of the consumer damand list. Quality is something that Blizzard can nail, content is the tough part. Titan will have to equal four games or four expansions in order to appease the hungry fans.

    Most new games can't get out of the gate for thirty days before the fans start to complain. Blizzard has a challenge ahead of them. The sheep will be lined up to pay. Content is the key to keeping them happy.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,758Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zealow

    Great article.

    While Funcom indeed comes from a troubled past, there is no doubt that the secret world is by far their best mmo yet. It has had one of the smoothest launches in mmo history, the players that invest some time in seems to love it and at least as far as the 2 first months go, they seem to be on track with their monthly content updates. 

    Heres to hoping it will pick up some steam (hah, see what i did there), and get the describer base it deserves and needs to keep the world alive, growing and evolving like they planned.

     

         TSW may have had more eye candy, but AO was alot more fun to play.

  • RedMachine72RedMachine72 Turney, MOPosts: 86Member

    Just a few observations.

    1.  Posting about TSW, ToR being single player games with group thrown in and sucky PvP. WoW, the 900# gorilla, can play all the way to 85 without a single group and with no story, PvP still the same, capture the flag, kill the others boss etc... PvP in TSW is the same as in WoW just different fight mechanics for some classes. Been playing WoW since '06 and thru all the xpansions. Still subbed and go back at least once a week.

    2. "Freemium" should be the term for it if it starts out with a sub then switches. You can still get a sub and get all the stuff for "free" that free players have to pay for. This has worked out great for games such as LotRO and AoC as it made them profitable again.  Tried some of the free to play games out there and a few that had switched and with the HUGE resrictions on some of them and never went back.

    3. Would it be so bad if TSW went freeemium, no. I just hope they don't do it as soon like ToR did. They should give it a year at least then make a decide about the switch. ToR still has over 500,000 subs last I saw and they are moving ahead with it. Granted, it wan'nt the game people thought it would be. But, it is still turning a profit and they are switching anyway.

    4. Whiny people need to stop comparing EVERYTHING to a game that has 8 years of content and the time to fix it all. My new game does'nt have 10,000 quests to go thru, BOO HOO. I have to think about what I have to do instead of banging my head on the keyboard, WHAAA! Go back to playing WoW as I have stated like I do at times. It's only as large as it is because it's a pick up and go game. No learning curve, anymore. Was back in vanilla, now it's just faceroll and win. Getting worse with MoP as now you don't have to pick talents anymore, just a new power. I go back when I don't want to have to think about what I need to do to advance thru a quest.

    5. A lot of the people whining about these games are still playing them. If I don't like a game I DON"T play it anymore. Simple as that people. Yes TSW could use some more endgame content, which they are starting to add next month. Same with ToR is adding more planets and more endgame. It takes time with this stuff. here we are 8 years after WoW started and they added crap at the same rate as the others.

     Basically people, either play if you like or don't play if you don't. And don't whine as I have seen some posters in all the forums having to say something. If your still playing you should'nt be biching.

  • chefdiablochefdiablo Barrie, ONPosts: 202Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    Victor,

     

     

    I'll give you my personal skinny on TSW. I was extremely psyched about it, right up until the moment that I got the opportunity to try the beta. At which point I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be playing it. Frankly I didn't even bother playing the beta beyond a day or two. Here are the main points that drove me away from it:

     

     - I'm a guy armed with an assault rifle, so why is combat playing out pretty much like every fantasy themed MMO I've ever played. You could remove the assault rifle graphic and substitute in a bow or wand of magic missles and you really wouldn't notice the difference. Don't get me wrong I LOVE the idea of a modern/horror/sci-fi MMO, but as far as combat goes, TSW wasn't one. The standard vanilla MMO combat mechanics work perfectly well for fantasy based MMO's where you are dealing with swords and bows and magic. But once you go to a modern/sci fi theme and start dealing with things like assault rifles and shotguns, etc....that paradigm starts to break down. The player wants to actualy FEEL like they are using modern weaponry. Having those kind of armaments in a game actualy is a BIG DRAW to attract different types of players, but you THROW THAT AWAY if you aren't actualy using mechanics that reflect them. IMO, TSW should have gone with more of a 1st person style shooter mechanic. Maybe something like Fallen Earth did (who's combat really shines, IMO). That way you get the kind of combat that reflects the era and style of weapons being used....and for the horror portion you get the immediacy of experiencing it in the 1st person. You WANT the players to feel creeped out about whats lurking behind them just outside thier limited field of view...you WANT people constantly turning around to see what's behind them.

     

    - Absolutely nothing in the origional portion of the game says, "GO OUT and interact with other players". One of the big highlights of this type of game is the level of social interaction it can foster. But in the beginning experience you feel completely disconnected from other players.

     

    - Themematically the thing that makes Horror work as a genre is that you SLOWLY build suspense. You give SUBTLE little hints that things aren't quite. Somethings a little bit off, but you can never quite put your finger on what it is. There's just a small hint here or there for the player to follow...a mystery for them to solve....and they never quite know when something will jump out of the shadows at them. Pyrotechnics in the opening cut scene and inky black tenticals all over the place and subway stations floating off into an abysss in the first experience of the game is kinda like bringing Frodo to Mt. Doom in the 1st chapter. You've wasted all the dramatic elements that could be used to build the experience.  The Developers should have read some Stoker or Mary Shelly or Lovecraft before going to work on this...or watched some classic horror movies (House on Haunted Hill, The Fog, Salems Lot, etc) or even played some of the really good older single player horror games (Silent Hill) to get a feel for how to build a narrative for this type of genre. Instead it felt more like Buffy the Vampire slayer meets Freddy Kruger.

     

    Essentialy, as far as I was concerned, they took a really AWESOME concept for a game and completely astro-turfed the execution. YMMV.

     

    I tend to agree with most of your point of view as my experience mirrors many of the same impressions.

    I found that the Kingsmouth area was a bit more blam in your face  for a starting area especially when I started to get to the tougher mobs. I enjoyed the challenge but found that the combat system was also a very intense workout after a while. This game is just not for me. I love the concept and despite the combat imperfections that most people do not like, I could play the game and enjoy it if I could relax after work while playing, not ramp up a physicaly intense battle.

    This is not a game flaw in my opinion, it is just something that I no longer want in my games. I am tired after work these days, I don't have the time and energy for intense and long mob battles. I was set to purchase and elected not to after my beta week end.

  • BrynnBrynn Albuquerque, NMPosts: 345Member

    I think it's a great game for what it is, very challenging. Too much so for most casual gamers like me.

    I think this article and others are over-analyzing the loss of players. I saw it coming. Fans just won't admit it becaue they like the challenging aspect of the game. I posted in the beta that players needed to be given a choice on quest difficulty. 

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member
    The world is in serious strife if Metacritic scores can ever influence share prices.

    Hater, could potentially ruin companies lol.
  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    "Find a reviewer whose writings match your personality and read his reviews to see if the game fits you. Then, if the MMO interests you, forget the review and invest your money and time in a month's worth of play."

    From the artical.  Really online game needs to ship with a free limited trial mode.  You can limit by hours you can limit by levels, however you want to do it.  I always read the reviews, but nothing beats actually playing the game for yourself.  Many times people can't afford to buy(nor have the time to play) every game that interests them.  First step is the review, second step is play the trial if one is available.  If a game does not offer a free trial, and a competing game does, and the player enjoys the trial (even if they may have enjoyed the other game more given a chance to play it) guess who gets the sale.

     

  • TithenonTithenon Fountain, COPosts: 109Member
    The moment I saw they were connected to Steam, now, my interest completely died.  Thanks, but no thanks.
  • cronius77cronius77 Fairfax, VAPosts: 1,353Member Uncommon

    by telling people to go out and buy the game and form their own opinion ,while noble, this is dead wrong and the reason why games release like total shit and get away with it. The secret world while not a bad game at its core and a good spin on new horror released with huge amounts of negativity towards its pvp and combat animations and mechanics.

    By you telling people to go out and buy games without reading others reviews you're basically telling people to waste money on something they might not like. If companies release bad games and make their money back on them , guess what ? they just turn around and make another bad game and the cycle continues. Just like now finally after so many failures out there with games like swtor and rift , we finally might see a lot less wow clones , but it took people speaking with their wallets and not following the hype in the end.

    I will continue to review both hype and negativity to determine if im going to buy a game or not because if the game is bad I could care less about their jobs or company , im not going to support them and others shouldnt either. Funcom had AO , AOC, and now TSW not doing well , whats that really tell you? obviously people that played it do not like it or they would still be playing it and not on the boards posting negative topics about it. I almost feel like you are blaming the game and giving the company a free pass here.

  • EvelknievelEvelknievel Ehrenfeld, PAPosts: 2,977Member
    Originally posted by Dakirn

    This was a good article.

     

    I'm so tired of hearing people wishing that a game will fail.. they don't even take into consideration what they're asking for.  They're asking for hundreds of employees to lose their jobs and ability to provide for their families.. simply because they don't "like" the game or have some deep set grudge against the company because of a game you played 5 years ago.

     

    If you don't like a game, state your reasoning and move on.. don't spend your time bashing the game and wishing for failure.  It doesn't help the industry at all.

     

    MMO developers have to be some of the most selfless people on the planet to work such long hours for very average pay to make a game that so many people end up hating, wishing for the failure or of wishing personal bodily harm to those who work on it.

     

    It's sad to read so much, especially on this site.. especially in an industry where something "new" is rare.  Everyone wants a company to try something different and then hope for their failure at the same time.

     

    I totally agree with your entire post.

    Some players just look at the little picture and never the big, this also shows the sign of their maturity.

    If players would take a step back and put themselves in the other persons situation, they would be thinking a lot differently instead of thinking of themselves.

    Not saying all, but what we have now is a generation of players that think they know it all and if I am not enjoying the game, then you better not as well.

  • thePREdigerthePREdiger ViennaPosts: 152Member

    imo a game that was launched P2P and goes into F2P within the first two years is just something that failed and now gets tossed into the corner like an old toy. Leaving it to rot.

     

    Nowadays there are not many games that establish themselves - the quality is not important anymore. the new strategy is HYPE IT - SELL IT - FORGET IT. Warhammer Online was the

    best example for it (they even launched a f2p spin-off next to the actual game).

  • DarkcrystalDarkcrystal st clair shores, MIPosts: 809Member Uncommon

    Being in the gaming industry , I realized for awhile now, that people on this forum most of all, love to bash games, no matter if they are good or not, they love to find things wrong with a game, I for one would love to see some of these gamers make there own game, most would NOT have a clue where to begin.....  People love free to play , why??   because they think they are getting stuff free when in the end it costs you more and you get less, with 15 a month is a cheap hobby!! I mean cheap, but gamers today have there morals and standards all over the place.

     

    Games back in the day used to be great, and gamers, had respect for DEVS, those days are gone, gamers/people love to hate on everything, you need to get over your selfs and play the games or find a new hobby!!

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Darkcrystal

    Being in the gaming industry , I realized for awhile now, that people on this forum most of all, love to bash games, no matter if they are good or not, they love to find things wrong with a game, I for one would love to see some of these gamers make there own game, most would NOT have a clue where to begin.....  People love free to play , why??   because they think they are getting stuff free when in the end it costs you more and you get less, with 15 a month is a cheap hobby!! I mean cheap, but gamers today have there morals and standards all over the place.

     

    Games back in the day used to be great, and gamers, had respect for DEVS, those days are gone, gamers/people love to hate on everything, you need to get over your selfs and play the games or find a new hobby!!

     

     

    I agree completely.  Personally $15 a month for a game is not an issue so much as time.  I don't have time to play a lot of different games, which is why when a game ships if it doesn't come with some kind of trial, I am likely not going to buy it unless the reviews are outstanding.(9.x)  Most F2P games I have played don't come close to the subscription games I have played.

  • OlgarkOlgark BostonPosts: 320Member Uncommon

    TSW is by far their best MMO to date. Do not listen to other people as you will only get their own view on the game, you have to experience it yourself to fully get to know the game.

     

    In other words do not be a sheep that follows the flock.

     

    I like TSW as a MMO and find a lot of enjoyment from it, been playing since release and still not through all the content yet. Those that say they have done it all are lying as there are many lore items and rare monsters that can be found. Some are yet to be seen in the game as well.

    image

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rojo6934

    F2P i only evil when its pay to win

     

     

     

    People who say this fundamentally do not understand how 'F2P' effects core game design and what a 'game' actually is even...

    They don't get the shift from 'game' to the wider and much more vague 'entertainment product', which seems small because many say 'but but a game IS an entertainment product!!', but really is profound.

     

    Play to Achieve trumps Pay to Achieve for me as a gamer.

  • FailtrainFailtrain QueenstownPosts: 129Member
    I bet that if they didn't double-dip with their sub + cash shop they would have had a decent amount of people buy and/or sub to the game. Probably not enough, however.
  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,203Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vesavius

     

    The bottom line is that, if we accept that this model is actually 'free', going 'F2P' does not make these failed games any more fun.

     

    If I wanted to play TSW I would be playing it. I would have paid for the client. If the folks that did buy it found it more then a month's worth of fun, they would be paying the £10 for another to keep on playing the game. The reason I didn't, and so many of them didn't, is because the game isn't fun enough for the majority. It is a ragged around the edges snooze fest with moments of 'that's cool'.

     

    It's the game that's the issue, not the rev model.

     

    The devs need to stop blaming the payment model (or metacritic!! or whatever else...) for their fails and face up that they simply need to make better games.

     

    Ones we find fun enough to not mind spending money on. 

      

     

    Im inclined to agree though going micro transaction has boosted active players in other games. I plan on playing some time in the future, I hope they go hybrid (freemium) as with a game that us fairly light on content I would prefer to sub for a month or two.

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,203Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tithenon
    The moment I saw they were connected to Steam, now, my interest completely died.  Thanks, but no thanks.

    I am no fan of steam, I am no fan of EA either. How a game is published or distributed is frankly irrelevant as long as there are viable alternatives (there are).

     

  • UlcerateUlcerate Calgary, ABPosts: 6Member
    Great story, great enviroments. Horribly boring and repetative combat. Terrible grouping system. Terrible instances. Worth the admission? Sure. Worth the monthly fee, no way. I quickly canceled my sub after I hit the savage coast and realized that this was more of a single-player experience than a multiplayer. I'll come back to the TSW when they decided to wipe the monthly fee. Till then i'll play a superior MMO(GW2) on it's release without having to worry about getting my moneys worth. 
  • SkuzSkuz WorcesterPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon
    I think the author of the article should have done a little more background research on how Funcom has handled the F2P model in their previous titles before wading in with an uninformed & overly pessimistic opinion  on the topic, whilst the "past form" argument doesn't always hold true it does give a prevailing trend of how the company views its own F2P practices, the fears might be justified with a developer new to this methodology but Funcom clearly are not new to the idea.
  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,203Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Olgark

    TSW is by far their best MMO to date. Do not listen to other people as you will only get their own view on the game, you have to experience it yourself to fully get to know the game.

     

    In other words do not be a sheep that follows the flock.

     

    I like TSW as a MMO and find a lot of enjoyment from it, been playing since release and still not through all the content yet. Those that say they have done it all are lying as there are many lore items and rare monsters that can be found. Some are yet to be seen in the game as well.

    My favourite is AO I think. Loads wrong with it, but that which is good is very good. A flawed masterpiece.

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